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Building Good Habits

Why is it soooo easy to fall back into bad habits…but so hard to establish GOOD ones?  I guess maybe I’m inherently lazy.

But so far in 2012, I’ve been working really hard on establishing some daily routines.

  • Before I go to bed, I prep the coffee pot for 5 AM.
  • The monsters got me an iPhone dock to replace my alarm clock for Christmas.  I decided to quit doing my “backup” alarm — which almost always is like a 30-min snooze instead of really there to make sure we get up.  One alarm at 5 AM.  Get up.  No questions.  It’s been really really hard.  I’ve been struggling to stay functional, but I’m hoping to settle into the regular routine and increase my productivity.
  • I’m writing by 5:30 AM.  I only have about 30 mins before I have to get Princess up, but I’ve been getting between 300-500 words.  Not NaNoWriMo pace, but steady.
  • I’m continuing to track my food per Weight Watchers.
  • I’ve completed one week of Power 90, and started the second week today.

Between Dark & Early and exercise, I’m starving!  So I’ve been eating 2 small breakfasts plus a later small lunch, shifting some of my points earlier in the day so I eat less at night.  I’ve also been eating all my points and then some – when last year I was almost always 3-7 points under.  I’m really hungry though, not just bored, tired, etc. so I’m eating within reason, tracking, and counting it toward my exercise points.

So far I’m staying steady at my low weight.  I haven’t lost, but I know it’s going to take a week or two for my body to adjust to regular exercise.  Plus Power 90 isn’t like taking a little walk.  This is hard stuff, including weights, and my muscles might retain water initially.  I need to eat enough to ensure I’m recovering and fueling for the next day.

I’m concentrating on quality protein.  Chicken, egg whites, wild salmon, lean beef.  I also bought some miso, dashi, and soba noodles so I can make my own Japanese-inspired soups for a small, low-point, hot lunch (vs. salads) for these cold winter days.  I’m still a little worried that I might not be getting enough protein, so this week I’m going to pick a day to double track my points into Spark People and see points vs. protein/carb breakdown.  I might need to start drinking a protein shake, but I’m very picky.  I want something with all-natural ingredients – especially no artificial sweeteners.  I’ve found one that looks excellent (Beach Body’s Shakeology) but holy smokes, I’m not paying $118 for a 30-day supply!  If anyone has any recs, I’d love to hear them!

Now my next most important habit to start… getting to bed at a decent time so I’m not so tired!

7 thoughts on “Building Good Habits

  1. I just tried Herbal Life. Supposedly an all natural pharmaceutical grade product. Haven’t researched it much but it was pretty good tasting with 20+ g of protein. The distributor had a chart published by the FDA showing that most popular brands have bad stuff in them… like arsenic! Brands like EAS, Designer Whey, and the stuff Jillian Michaels brands. It was kind of scary.

    1. Wanda, I saw that *same* report. Very very scary how bad some of the “designer” protein shakes are! I may not need any extra protein yet, but it’d be nice to replace one of my small meals with something a little easier to whip up. Plus I’m sure eventually I’ll get tired of eggs!

    2. I couldn’t find a drink with 20+ g of protein on their site, but looked at one with 15. I think I want whey instead of soy (to stay away from GMOs), and I’m not thrilled with “nondairy creamer” which => corn syrup. Exactly why I stick to my full fat half and half — I don’t want the corn syrup that’s in the fat-free carton!

  2. rooting for you Joely!

    I too am trying to establish good habits this year including diet, exercise, sleep schedule,finishing projects I have begun and will begin, writing, clean and organized environment, and hardest of all socializing. Many of the obstacles trapping me in the bad habits were eliminated the day after Xmas when we moved out of my in-laws (after ten years) into our own home where I can have my mini-tramp in the house, shop for the healthy food and not be trapped in a tiny bedroom where the only place to sit was the bed. Some of my new habits will have to wait until I get back home tho as 11 days after we moved I left to spend a month with my Mom and sisters.

    But one habit that doesn’t have to wait is the diet because my sister has been on the Jorge Cruise diet for over two years now and every time I spend a month to six weeks here I loose weight and inches–the inches come off faster than the weight.

    Here are some of the things I learned, applied and proved worked (at least for me):

    Eliminate processed sugars and artificial sweeteners. Jorge Cruise approves of Stevia in moderation for those times you must have sweet. 🙂

    Sleep at least 7.5 hours each day. Studies have proven that even those who change no other habit will loose weight if they get 7.5 to 8 hours of quality sleep. I tried it for most of a month and was having success but I find it very hard to keep a strict sleep schedule. I tend to have two to four 24 to 36 hour wake periods each month and have done since at least jr high.

    Bounce exercise with mini-tramp, exercise ball or large trampoline if you have access. You get more bang for your buck so to speak or to put it another way: the positive effects of the exercise per minute are multiplied. It exercises not just the muscles but every cell of your body. Stimulates the immune system and the lymph system. It improves balance. And I’ve found that every time I get on one I have a mild to major creative breakthrough. I’ve even used an exercise ball as a desk chair while writing.

    Warning re bounce exercise: you are likely to feel worse the first several days. almost like you are getting sick. this is due to the toxins being flushed out of the cells they were dormant in and traveling towards their garbage chutes. this can be alleviated by starting gently and building up slowly so the toxin flush is slowed

    Drink lots of water. you probably already know all the benefits of that.

    Add lots of fiber to your diet. Ditto. But I will add that I’ve found this to eliminate the hunger feeling.

    I hope I didn’t overstep a social boundary by sharing TMI. I guess my mind was bursting at the seams with all of this info I’ve been digging out of memory files (brain and netbook) the last couple of weeks as my excitement about finally being able to apply it builds.

  3. Thank you so much, Joy – not overstepping at all! I’ve never done any bouncing exercises – I might have to look into that. I can’t do the high impact parts of Power 90 yet. I’ve cut most artificial sweeteners out too, except I do some Splenda. I’m trying to get off it, though. I do very little “white” or processed foods too, other than the occasional splurge.

  4. Hi Joely,
    I enjoyed your post and I totally understand your struggle with making and maintaining a healthy routine for your life and the difficulties in sticking to it. I have a rare disease called Limited Wegener’s and it is challenging and I feel myself leaning towards the screw this why I am fighting, but then I think about what it is I want to accomplish and do. Here are some things that I have learned about being healthy:

    1) it is about choosing foods that give your body the right nutrients to feed your body. Crusifix foods, such as cauliflower, broccoli, black rice, cinnamon, cold water fish, are examples of these and they also help your body deal with inflammation issues as well.

    2) It is healthy fats that keep your full longer, such as fish or olive oil, or any other types of healthy fats that are out there you enjoy.

    3) it is about having a good support system and being transparent about your difficulties not only to yourself, but also the your support system. I have learned to share my struggles, as well as my triumphs with my health and disease. I have been the type of person to hold it in and not let any of my pain or frustration out.

    4) Being physically active is vital and important, but also listening to your body while you are being active is important. I have learned from my physical therapist that if my heart rate reaches a certain number, I am not doing my body any good. I suggest asking your doctor what that number is for your age, because it goes by age. The older you are the lower the number is, it is important to keep your number in the middle portion while you are working out.

    I am rooting for you too and am glad that my sister Joy introduced me to your blog.

  5. Sis, you always amaze me. I can’t imagine the sacrifices you make for both your health and your creativity, all while being a spectacular mother and programmer.

    And I kinda wanna do the bouncy exercise now. *sheepish*

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